Read I Samuel 8, John 19
And the Lord said unto Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” I Samuel 8:7
The Lord has a marvelously kind way of giving people their just deserts. The people asked for a king and initially they got just what they had hoped for, tall Saul. He was able to lead them into battle and he led them to win against their enemies. For a king, he lived fairly unpretentiously, but he had the bearing to represent them well among their neighbors. But typical of a king, he didn’t handle his position well for very long. Jealousy consumed him when he perceived someone else might be more worthy of glory then himself.
Unless we are pathetically self-centered, most of us love to glory in someone else. My favorite leisure is to read the biographies of great men. My son knows all the statistics of every significant athlete in every most sports. He can tell you who the great athletes are before they are headlined on ESPN.
I went to an incredibly good gospel concert and afterwards I got to talk to the director and lead singer. “I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your concert,” I told the man. I was so delighted to be able to tell him personally how much I gloried in his excellent performance. Much to my disappointment, he merely looked at me kindly and nodded his head.
That’s all the Israelites wanted. They wanted someone glorious; a king whom they could glory in. Samuel’s two sons were not glorious. They were not like their father. They were petty and corrupt. Maybe they were not as bad as Eli’s two sons, but they were a disappointment.
Samuel warned them. Do you know what becomes of a glorified man? He forgets that he’s just a man like every other man. With his glory, he loses his restraint. Then, instead of being glorious, he becomes sad and pathetic.
Look at the poor superstars of this world. Even the simplest satisfactions elude them; like a faithful wife, or happy kids or a quiet walk down the street.
But who was Israel’s next king after Saul? David! Though David had significant problems, David was a man, perhaps more than any other, who gloried in the Lord. Read Psalms 1-150. So the Lord gloried in him and promised him a Son who was the All Glorious One. Those who glorified Jesus while He was on this earth called him, “Jesus, Son of David.”
The Israelites should have gloried in the Lord. They should not have insisted on a mere man for their king in whom they could glory. But our God is so kind, so good. He gave them (and us) THE Man who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords to whom we will join with the angels in praising for all eternity. But unlike any other man, the Lord Jesus can receive our praise for He is our God. And as the writer of Revelation writes, “glory and power belong to our God.” Rev 19:1